With April's draft just about a month away, there are a lot of different routes the Chicago Bears could go with the 19th overall pick. The Bears still have plenty of needs, even after the addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Last year, the Bears selected offensive tackle Gabe Carimi out of Wisconsin, but he was unable to stay on the field due to a knee injury.
There are plenty of areas where the Bears could use an upgrade, especially the left tackle position, where the Bears still have J'Marcus Webb protecting Jay Cutler's blind side. In addition to offensive tackle, the Bears could seek a pass-rusher.
Other areas I could see the Bears drafting would be at cornerback and a No. 2 receiver to play beside Marshall. The Bears could go many different ways when they are on the clock. Here are five players whom they could be targeting.
Offensive tackle is a position the Bears should seriously consider upgrading, especially if the Bears want to give Jay Cutler time to throw the ball to his receivers. The past two seasons the Bears have let J'Marcus Webb protect Cutler's blindside, which has not worked out at all.
Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams is someone the Bears should consider taking. Right away Adams would be able to come in and keep Cutler upright rather than have the franchise quarterback be hit every time he throws the ball.
The past few seasons, the Bears have been in the bottom of the league in terms of sacks allowed by opposing defenses, and this must change. Mike Adams is huge, standing at 6'7" and 323 pounds, and size is something that Mike Tice loves to see in his offensive lineman, which why the Bears chose 6'7", 316-pound Gabe Carimi with the pick last year.
Offensive tackle is a position of need,when the Bears are on the clock with the 19th overall pick in April's draft.
Even though the Bears acquired All-Pro wideout Brandon Marshall, the Chicago Bears should consider drafting Cutler a speed guy, and Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright fits that bill. Wright is someone who has blazing speed and would be the perfect No. 2 receiver across from Marshall.
Last year at Baylor, Wright made numerous highlight reel catches with Robert Griffin III throwing him the ball.
The Bears' leading receiver a season ago had 37 catches, which is why they made the move for Marshall; however, they should consider adding a No. 2 receiver opposite to Marshall. Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett are both slot receivers and would be playing out of position if Mike Tice and Lovie Smith had them starting opposite of Marshall.
Kendall Wright is someone whom the Bears must consider if they want to be a serious Super Bowl contender.
The Chicago Bears' defense is quickly aging, and they need to find someone who could be the next star. University of Illinois product Whitney Mercilus could be the direction the Bears choose to go when they are on the clock with the 19th overall pick.
A season ago, Mercilus had a breakout year for the Fighting Illini and led the team and the nation in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (nine). Julius Peppers led the Bears with 11 sacks, but there was not much consistency from anyone else.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli knows how to get the most out of his players, and some scouts question if Mercilus is just a one-year wonder. However, playing alongside Pro Bowl defensive end Peppers is never a bad thing, as he contains a lot of double-teams. This would leave Mercilus with single coverage and a lot of opportunities to get to the quarterback.
Whitney Mercilus is someone the Bears should consider taking at No. 19.
Another position I could see the Bears taking with the 19th overall pick is cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is getting up there in age and the Bears need to start finding a replacement. Alabama product Kirkpatrick is someone they should consider taking as their replacement to Tillman.
A season ago, Kirkpatrick had 26 tackles, nine pass deflections and forced two fumbles. He impressed scouts with his performance at the NFL combine, but scouts question his character, as he was charged with possession of marijuana. While those charges were later dropped, this incident could make teams wary of making him a first-round pick.
If the Bears could somehow land him with the No. 19 pick in this year's draft, they would get someone who could eventually replace Tillman.
Another position I could see the Bears selecting in the first round of the draft is another Alabama player, Mark Barron. A few seasons back Phil Emery—when working with the Kansas City Chiefs— selected safety Eric Berry, who had a great rookie season, before he went down with an injury ending his sophomore campaign.
Barron would give the Bears an athletic safety, something they have not had since Mike Brown was in town. Chris Conte and Major Wright are solid temporary solutions to the safety position, but Mark Barron could turn into a star.